UK charity to build WASH projects globally to help 1 million
UK charity Muslim Hands has raised £2.5 million in Ramadan for WASH projects globally. The generous donations will allow for 6,000 wells to be built in various countries, including Palestine, Somalia, and Bangladesh. The most significant WASH project, which saw £305,000 worth of donations, was towards the charity’s Yemen water appeal.
Described as one of the most water-scarce countries in the world (UNICEF), the civil war has left Yemen with a severely damaged infrastructure, leaving 16 million Yemenis without clean drinking water or sanitation. This will be Muslim Hands’ largest water project so far in the country, covering the Al-Habilain area of Radfan district, which will support 50,000 beneficiaries. The well will operate through solar energy, providing clean, pumped drinking water into residential homes.
Once all the projects are completed, over 1 million beneficiaries will use these WASH facilities, which will be situated in the heart of rural communities. Residents will be provided easy access to clean drinking water, which will create safer and more productive lives. According to WHO, ‘785 million people in the world do not have clean water close to home’. Muslim Hands is working with other organisations on the ground to ensure those in the developing world have their basic needs met.
The countries being supported have been significantly affected by climate change. With limited water availability and increased occurrences of natural disasters, including flooding, many have been left susceptible to contaminated water sources and destroyed sanitation facilities. This is negatively impacting people’s health, productivity, and income with predictions that ‘climate change could force 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030’, according to the World Bank.
The limitations of those being able to get access to clean water and the impact this is having is being amplified further in the developing world, due to the global pandemic. The prominent messaging of basic hygiene and handwashing practices being key in preventing the spread of COVID-19, will see this being beyond the reach for 3 billion people across the world. Muslim Hands therefore believes there is no time more important than now to ensure that vital water points are secure, fit for purpose and managed well to provide safely managed drinking water and sanitation services to communities desperately in need.
Mansata Sagna, 32 and a mother of four used to travel 1000 metres to source clean water, which was a task that predominantly fell on the women of the household. The newly built well in the south of Senegal allows Mansata and her family to live healthier and productive lives. The time previously spent on fetching water now allows them to use it towards farming, which is how the family earn their living. Mansata said: ‘I would like to thank the donor who made this project happen it is like a dream. May Almighty Allah reward them as this is the biggest gift I have ever received in my life.’
Shakil Sidat, Muslim Hands UK Programmes Director, said:
‘Water is used in every aspect of our lives from cleaning, drinking to washing. However, for millions across the world, access to safe drinking water is limited. It means that women and girls will travel for hours to get water from unsafe sources. With the current pandemic highlighting the essential need for hygiene and sanitation in stopping the spread of disease, our response will focus on ensuring the provision of personal and communal water sources. We have seen first-hand how a simple water source has increased female education in Africa, improved community peace in Yemen and increased income for farmers in Pakistan’.
Yasrab Shah, Muslim Hands Fundraising Director, said:
‘We feel incredibly humbled by the record-breaking generosity of our donors this Ramadan. These funds will help us provide sustainable, clean, and safe drinking water to over a million needy people. On behalf of Muslim Hands, we would like to send a heartfelt thank you to all our donors and encourage them to continue giving to help save many more lives’.
Notes to editors
- Established in 1993, Muslim Hands is an international aid agency and NGO dedicated to providing emergency relief and tackling the root causes of poverty around the world.
- Muslim Hands works in over 30 countries worldwide.
- 1 in 3 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water – UNICEF and WHO
- Some 2.2 billion people around the world do not have safely managed drinking water services, 4.2 billion people do not have safely managed sanitation services, and 3 billion lack basic handwashing facilities – UNICEF and WHO
- Basic Services – having a protected drinking water source that takes less than thirty minutes to collect water from, using an improved toilet or lantrine that does not have to be shared with other households, and having handwashing facilities with soap and water in the home. – UNICEF and WHO
- Safely managed drinking water and sanitation services – drinking water from sources located on premises, free from contamination and available when needed, and using hygienic toilets from which wastes are treated and disposed of safely. – UNICEF and WHO
- We rely on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0115 911 7222 or visiting muslimhands.org.uk